Spain's prime minister not considering resigning

Spanish PM To Be Ousted In

Rajoy became Spain's first sitting prime minister to give evidence at trial when he was called as a witness in the case a year ago.

Last week's National Court ruling looks at only one portion of the case, the kickbacks-for-contracts scheme in place between 1999 and 2005, when Rajoy himself was moving up the party ladder.

Two Catalan pro-independence parties as well as leftist Podemos also said they would back Sanchez.

Barring any last-minute U-turn, an absolute majority of lawmakers, among them Catalan separatists and Basque nationalists, will vote through a no-confidence motion filed last week by the Socialists following a corruption scandal involving the PP.

"Sanchez is an audacious politician but not especially reflective and he thinks more in the short-term", says Vallespin.

Rajoy, 63, must offer King Felipe VI his resignation, according to media reports, before his successor can take office.

Torra, a fervent separatist, also announced that his government had sued Mariano Rajoy -who on Friday was ousted as prime minister- and his deputy, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, for abuse of power over their blocking of an earlier Cabinet proposal.

Sanchez said he meant to call elections before the end of this parliamentary term in 2020, but he didn't say when, and he probably will want to make his mark first with some headline policies before going to the polls.

The motion, called by Sanchez, won 180 votes for, with 169 against and one abstention.

Sanchez and his party have been staunch supporters of the European Union and Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission has displayed full confidence in the new Spanish government, as reported by AP.

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Rajoy's departure would trigger a second political crisis in southern Europe, further unnerving financial markets already wrongfooted by failed attempts to form a government in Italy three months after a national election.

Socialists have a very slim majority in Parliament and only hold 84 seats in the 350-member assembly, which could make any bold move on the economic or political front - including on Catalonia - hard.

The incoming prime minister has outlined that his priorities will be social issues - such as measures to help young people and the elderly - before calling elections, though he hasn't said when there might be a vote.

All of his allies in the no-confidence motion stressed their vote against Rajoy was not a blank cheque for Sanchez.

That was short-lived, though, as party activists re-elected him as party head in primaries in May 2017, but even then the Socialists were often sidelined as Podemos, centre-right Ciudadanos and Rajoy's PP took centre stage in politics.

"The PP has had corrupt people, I acknowledge it, but the PP is not a corrupt party", he said.

Barring last-minute surprises, a no-confidence vote that would oust Rajoy and make Sanchez prime minister-designate is expected to pass by a narrow majority in parliament's 350-seat lower house.

Mariano Rajoy waves during a lunch break in a motion of no confidence debate at Parliament in Madrid, Spain, May 31, 2018.

Sanchez has pledged to call a fresh election if the motion succeeds but only after governing long enough to restore "institutional stability".

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